Ok, I'll risk putting my head back into the lion's mouth.
Let's look at PL's opinions and see what's going on.
PL (like my father & my husband and many others) was part of the Christian set-up, but found himself unable to find any truth or logic in the Christian message. He sought proof or evidence for it ~ and found none. I can empathise with that.
Finding nothing to back up the stories he was hearing in church, he stopped believing and began to wonder why others could not see what he had seen ~ that some of the stories are pretty incredible ~ ie unbelievable. Yet people believed them ~ why? He couldn't see why others weren't thinking logically and seeing what he saw ~ that it made no sense. It was so unbelievable as to be almost a joke. How could thinking, intelligent people actually believe that it was true.
I think that this must be his train of thought. If he holds these views, then he holds these views. Unfortunately, these views imply that at least some Christians must be unintelligent and willing to believe in a joke.
Here we reach a dilemma.
On the Forum Guidelines page,http://www.wineintro.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=120741#Post120741
'All Points of View Welcome
You are welcome to post whatever point of view you have, as long as it is honestly held, stated in logical language and open to further discussion. That is the point of this forum, to discuss issues. If you get upset that we discuss an issue, I'm not sure why you are in a discussion forum.'
She also says:
'* No Personal Attacks
We are discussing issues and ideas, not individual people. If you disagree with a person's point of view, address that point of view. ... In essence it does not matter "why" a person holds a point of view. It only matters that they present their point of view and that you discuss that view.'
' No Flaming
If your aim is merely to post something to upset others, that is not the point here. We want truthful statements of points of view. We want to ask each other questions and get answers. If you intend to attack others, or to avoid answering questions, that isn't a good discussion.'
On the Rules & Regulations page, she states:
' We only moderate posts that violate one of the below rules. We are not here to referee arguments or to remove points of view that a given person disagrees with'
The rule we are concerned with here is:
'2) NO INSULTS OF OTHER FORUM MEMBERS. There is never an excuse for verbally assaulting another person in our forum. This is known as Cyber-Bullying; it is emotional abuse and will not be tolerated. You can disagree maturely with a given topic .... If you must resort to attacking the individual personally to make your point, then you have already conceded defeat on the issue. ..'http://www.wineintro.com/about/forum/rules.html
If 'all points of view are welcome', then this would include PL's. He is not flaming. He believes what he has posted. And 'it does not matter "why" a person holds a point of view. It only matters that they present their point of view and that you discuss that view'
Victor has mentioned 'the barrage of critical posts heading his way'
and I do wonder if these might not be construed as breaking rules in themselves.
As Mrs JF indicated, it may not be the content, but the tone that has caused upset. Lordslady has mentioned tact, respect and courtesy. And I agree that for the board to work, these are important elements.
The term respect has also been mentioned.
Now, it may well be that PaulLied has lost respect for those elders who are Christians because of his experiences.
He is forced to go to church.
He knows of immoral churchmen ~ who have been mentioned on here ~ including the paedophile priests.
He thinks that the men in the pulpit are lying to him, anyway, because he is sure that they are wrong
and many of them are just in the church for the financial and social rewards ~ and the status.
He is not flamimg, he is putting forward his ideas.
I do think that, like some fundamentalists, he does not consider that his beliefs are up for discussion, but, rather, that they are simply correct.
As a moderator, I try to ensure that the rules are kept, rather than keep the peace* ~ though I think that this is important if the board is to be a pleasant place to be.
*'We are not here to referee arguments or to remove points of view that a given person disagrees with'
I have pointed out to PL that insults etc are against the rules, but it isn't against the rules for him to state his views.
And I am not condoning insults by saying this.
If I say that the members shouldn't take criticism of their religion personally, then that is because this is the only way a religious discussion / debate forum can work. I can certainly see why it might be upsetting, but in a discussion forum one has to remain as objective as possible.
Of course it can be upsetting at times. I get upset and annoyed and frustrated and insulted, but I try to step away and calm down. Maybe that is why it appears that I condone some insults and condemn people for feeling insulted. Maybe, if I showed every time I felt angry or upset, the balance would be more easily observed.
It is not a condemnation when I say 'do not take things personally', it is a request to be objective, because only objectivity can work on a forum where such controversial and personal matters are discussed.
If I agree with someone whose views offend, I am not belittling or insulting, I am simply stating a fact.
PaulLied has offended a number of people and I have asked him to be more polite and to ensure that his vocabulary does not personally insult anyone, but I agree with him about not being able to find satisfactory evidence of Jesus, for example.
I also think that some of the comments going in his direction have gone a little too far.
Please, let's start again.
PL is new to the forum, and to the forum etiquette that has developed between us ~ and we don't always get it right, do we?
I would ask everyone to moderate their tones and to either discuss this subject calmly, and as objectively as possible in the circumstances or, since it seems to upset people unduly, not to discuss it at all.
I am not trying to offend anyone; I am trying to keep things on an even keel.